The continuously declining South African defence budget means acquisition of new military equipment for the national defence force has, of necessity, been put on the backburner and Armscor is now moving strongly into what was previously a service rather than a business focus.
Defence Disposal Solutions (DDS) is, according to the State-owned defence and security acquisition organisation, part of Armscor Business Enablement tasked with selling excess and obsolete defence materiel on behalf of the Department of Defence (DoD) to the “best advantage”.
A framework agreement with the UK Ministry of Defence’s Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA) adds more, for want of a better word, stock to what DDS has on offer from the SA National Defence Force (SANDF). This, prior to the DESA partnership, included aircraft, spares, vessels, land and/or air-based equipment and ammunition larger than 12.7mm. Part of the DDS/DESA announcement indicates Armscor has been active selling surplus and redundant SANDF military related equipment internationally and “successfully sold equipment on most continents with a compliant and an unblemished track record”.
DESA will add combat proven UK products and equipment along with a range of inventory and commodities as well as sharing knowledge and expertise in what is officially termed Armscor’s International Disposal Solutions (IDS) initiative.
A 24-page IDS “catalogue” lists what is currently available to countries seeking to boost the equipment inventories of their militaries.
In it are, among others, fast rescue rigid hull inflatable boats, Vixen Plus Land Rovers as well as light and medium truck utility versions from the 4×4 manufacturer, Aerospatiale Gazelle helicopters, MAN support vehicles, Rigid Raider fast assault craft, ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) – better known as quad bikes – and Husky 4×4 tactical support vehicles.
From a South African and particularly military aviation viewpoint the product sure to attract the most attention is the ex-Royal Air Force C-130J Super Hercules. 28 Squadron of the SA Air Force (SAAF) is operating “B” models of the same type in service for close on 60 years.
Also available in the DDS/DESA catalogue is Britten-Norman’s BN-2T-4S Defender R Mk 2. This high-wing, twin-engine aircraft has any number of roles including maritime surveillance and border patrol.